JULY 25-29, 2016

UNIQUE MISSIONS & STUDENT CONFERENCE

WE UNIFY.

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About Us

About Us

Our MISSION: We exist to glorify God and make disciples by understanding the neglected and advancing the mission of Jesus Christ to students at an affordable price by providing gospel-centered platforms that elevate the truth of the Gospel and lead students to live UNIQUE lives in service to our Savior and King.

Be UNITED

We offer affordable, gospel-centered platforms that gather and unite inner-city students throughout the calendar year.

Be UNIFIED

We offer ongoing discipleship and mentorship to UNIQUE STUDENTS who have recognized the call on their lives to be ambassadors of the gospel.

Be UNLEASHED

We provide opportunities for UNIQUE STUDENTS to travel locally to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Be UNIQUE

We understand that God created us individually for the purpose of advancing the gospel through the gifts, talents, and abilities that He uniquely gave each one of us.

Registration

Use the links below to register for conference tickets and missions opportunities throughout the week.

2016 Conference

Conference Ticket
  • Monday, July 25th - Friday July 29th
  • Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas
  • This includes the full 5 day conference!
  • Early Registration - May 31st ($20)
  • Regular Registration - June 30th ($25)
  • Late Registration and Door Price ($30)

MISSIONS

Conference Ticket + Missions
  • Monday, July 25th - Friday July 29th
  • You and your group can choose to take part in serving the community through an assigned mission project.
  • Lodging at Unique Partner Churches Available, Call or Email for Details
  • Early Registration - April 30th ($50)
  • Regular Registration - May 31st ($65)
  • Late Registration Ends July 8th ($75)

Speakers and Band

We have some great individuals who have partnered with us this year and we're excited to see what the Lord has in store for Unique Student Ministry conference.

Guest Artist – The Digital Age

Guest Artist – The Digital Age

Asked about the art and craft of novel writing, E.L. Doctorow once famously stated: “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

That analogy applies to so many creative pursuits—recording an album, for example. But let’s suppose the musical group in question leaves behind a celebrated past to traverse an uncertain future: one so speculative that even the group’s name isn’t quite settled yet when the road trip begins. To take Doctorow’s analogy a step further, it’s like driving a car at night with one headlight, a spotty GPS signal and no gas stations for another hundred miles.

Yet the long, strange trip that saw four core members of the David Crowder*Band become The Digital Age has yielded one stunning testament to multi- dimensional faith: faith in the music, faith expressed through the music and faith the musicians had in each other. The result is a sojourn that, fittingly enough, begins at night and rides straight on to dawn in best concept-album fashion— Evening:Morning.

As guitarist/vocalist Mark Waldrop notes: “It’s equal parts old and equal parts new. As a band playing together for so many years, we know each other as people, musicians and songwriters. With The Digital Age, it all felt very natural, but losing a violinist and acoustic guitarist changed us, so we decided to press on and continue to innovate our sound.”

Along with Crowder compatriots Jack Parker, Jeremy “B-Wack” Bush and Mike “Mike D” Dodson, Waldrop set out to create a disc that maintained the best of their old, beloved band. Yes, that means sinewy rhythms, undeniable hooks, and infectious melody, as evidenced in the first single and leadoff track, “Captured.” But it also means maintaining a beating-heart belief that the Church is beautiful, diverse, creative and alive … and that these qualities should be reflected in the music that the Church and The Digital Age create.

“The Digital Age mission picks up where we left off,” Waldrop says. “It’s alt rock that’s compelling lyrically and musically, and we’re still obsessed with the concept record. So we’re carrying over what we did before. This is all we know, to write together and work together. It feels new, but a lot of it is a carry over; it’s not too, too huge a departure.”

Still, The Digital Age’s combination of sound and spirit defies definition in a way that even leaves the band’s members stumped. “When we met with our record label after the record was done, they gave us an assignment to categorize ourselves in a couple of words. We laughed and they replied, ‘We know this is really difficult.’ The term ‘modern worship’ is played out; all these other things are played out. All we’re trying to do is write music that sounds like what we listen to, but worship music specifically. You have to be aware of the church and make it accessible. But we don’t want to fit into any mold. Worship music needs to meet the broader culture to make it more relevant.”

And that’s something Waldrop and company know how to do, given that their very last David Crowder*Band album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, topped only by Adele’s “21” the week of January 28, 2012. Six months later, The Digital Age embarked on the six music videos that became the Rehearsals EP, and not long after that, commenced work on Evening:Morning. “The final Crowder record was a requiem mass,” Waldrop says, “so we thought it would make sense to progress from uncertainty and weariness to a place of rebirth and hopefulness. This is uncharted territory.”

There’s much to recommend about this musical expedition, which promises to reach an audience far beyond David Crowder*Band territory. “Captured” gallops along on a marching-band beat B-Wack cooked up in his home studio between rehearsals, while the lyric revels in broken-chains celebration: “Cause love has come to rescue me/ Your love has come to set me free/ Your love is all I need.”

Waldrop sums up the song with a simple exclamation and explanation: “Wow! What a way to start, especially in this transition time for us. We made it; we traversed through death—that’s how it felt as a band. People talk about the resurrection of Jesus, and sometimes they forget that there’s resurrection in everything. Things die and it’s OK, because the God of resurrection gives birth to new things.”

As for personal favorites, Waldrop picks “Believe” as a song he treasures. “We were at the studio late one night and I’d had a conversation with a friend earlier about how worship bands try to say things new, when there are so many great old things to draw on. It’s from the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. It’s so straightforward and it repeats, and it’s what we believe. These words are so ancient they don’t need to be modernized; when I hear it, it reminds me of going to church as a kid.” Ah yes, but the music might remind you of an exciting trek through a modern rock mist, one where the voices rise up with vaporous stealth and warmth.

And those who embraced Rehearsals will recognize the return of “All the Poor and Powerless,” a song from the catalog of All Sons and Daughters. It’s built upon a spiral jetty of echo-laden guitar, with cymbals and vocal washes splashing around it like ceaseless waves in a sea of dreams. “This song made Rehearsals special for us,” Waldrop says. “We decided to give this one a proper recording, and we’re so happy with how it turned out. It’s a fantastic song—I can say that because we didn’t write it—and the first time I heard it, it hit me. I’m glad we carried that song and helped get it out a bit.”

Of course, the transformation that created Evening:Morning has much to do with roots and wings. The roots part comes from the band’s home base of Waco, Texas (also home of Baylor University, alma mater to all four band members). The Digital Age crew has led worship there in some form or fashion since its inception in 1995. “We really feel at home here and committed to the investment we’ve made in this community, so right away we knew we wanted to stay in Waco,” Waldrop says.

The wings come in the form of a brand-spanking new recording studio, Asterisk Sound, also in Waco. The boys in the band rescued the 6400 sq. ft. facility from the muck and sweat of a former gym, and it took them three-plus months to make the space somewhat workable. “It was pretty gross,” Waldrop says, laughing. “It took quite a while to clean and disinfect it. The control room was actually a boxing ring where boxers would roll around on the ground, so we had to look out for staph.”

Yet the studio emerged as something state-of-the-art, a place The Digital Age guys hope other bands will frequent, a place that gives back to the local community in Waco and hopefully, a place that impacts the global church as a whole.

“The whole new record was recorded there, we produced and engineered it ourselves,” Waldrop says. “It’s nice to go there every day, even when we’re not recording, and to throw ideas around. But eventually we decided that we didn’t want to just keep it to our ourselves.”

And so let The Digital Age begin, an age that mocks its very moniker by yielding music that overflows with heart and soul—not just the kind that makes for a gliding groove or an emotive performance. Yes, there’s plenty of that to enjoy on Evening:Morning. But another brand of heart and soul also manifests itself, and it’s one Waldrop sums up with high-beam optimism:

“Our God isn’t passive and in the grave. He’s active and so we thought, ’Let’s put the flashlight ahead of us and see what step we’re supposed to take.’ We don’t know where we’re going but we’re going somewhere and we’re trusting that God is with us every step. We’ve been given the gist; we’ve been given the songs. Now it’s time to go out into the wild, follow … and see.”

Ed Newton

Ed Newton

Ed Newton was raised in a deaf world. The only child of two deaf parents, Ed was the voice in the silence for his parents Ron and Libby Newton. Through difficult circumstances and major hardships Ed was radically saved in high school. It was through the spoken word of others and the written Word of God that clarified a call to ministry as a senior in high school. God began to show forth His sovereign will in leading Ed to Clearwater Christian College to gain a Bible education, while affording the opportunity to play college basketball for four years. Ed continued his education journey by receiving a Master in Religious Education from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Pulpit Communication and Expository Preaching from Trinity Theological Seminary.

Prior to surrendering to a call to a faith-based itinerant evangelism ministry, Ed has served the local church in multiple positions such as Youth Minister, Recreation Pastor, as well as Minister of Outreach and Single Adults. Currently, Ed serves in a support role as Staff Evangelist at First Baptist Church Central Florida, the Executive Director of the LIFT TOUR, and teaching faculty member of Student Leadership University in Orlando, Florida.

God has uniquely gifted Ed with an ability to connect with various age groups, personally and corporately. His communication style can be summarized as “passion with content” while seeking to inspire people to be passionate, dedicated followers of Christ. He and his wife, (College Sweetheart) Stephanie, and their four children, London, Lola, Liv, and Lawson reside in Orlando, FL.

Mike Satterfield

Mike Satterfield

Mike Satterfield, the founder of Field of Grace Ministries, has a tremendous passion for God’s word coupled with a love for God’s people. He has a contagious spirit of generosity that flows through every facet of his ministry. Having received his mandate from God, Mike, obediently fulfills his calling communicating spiritual truths to all audiences, both students and adults. He is an effective communicator with fresh and original illustrations. God has given him the ability to engage the audience with his skilled use of words and his warm personality. He combines both to reflect the vitalizing truths laid out in God’s Word in a relevant message to the world.

His vision is uncompromisingly clear, with one central principle; to build and develop a kingdom of empowered people for God. Holding firmly to the commissioned mandate in Matthew 28:18-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations”, Mike has taken the gospel into national and international communities of the world.

Mike is the Teaching Pastor at Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas.

Mike and his wife, Rhonda, live in Arlington, Texas with their two children.

Worship Leader – Doran Woods

Worship Leader – Doran Woods

Mike Keahbone

Mike Keahbone

Mike grew up in the small town of Elgin, Oklahoma. His father was a full-blood Cherokee and his mother was Comanche and Kiowa. Though he comes from a proud Native heritage, his family was ravaged by alcohol and drug addiction. As a “teenage mom,” Mike’s mother was in and out of his life and would eventually pass away at the age of 40 due to an alcohol related illness. Mike’s father was completely absent from his life.

Through all of the turmoil, pain and abandonment, there was hope. God put people in Mike’s life that would love him unconditionally and model the love of Jesus Christ for him. It was that love and example that would lead him to give his life to the Lord on November 1, 1990. It became clear to Mike that God had been with him through the storms of his life and that each and every circumstance was instrumental in shaping God’s plan for him. Mike has been called to preach the love, hope and comfort that can only come from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mike seeks to honor God and teach Scripture to all people. Mike combines deep and practical teaching of Scripture with relevant humor, stories, and principles for life change. God has gifted Mike with sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that leads him to understand the needs of his audience and to say exactly what they need to hear through the truth of God’s Word. He inspires to provoke a passion for Scripture in the hearts and minds of people everywhere. As Mike explains, “God has given me a clear, passionate vision to fulfill the calling of Colossians 1:28, to present everyone perfect in Christ.”

Mike currently resides in Albuquerque NM with his lovely wife Jennifer, five year old daughter Hannah and three year old son Mikah and 2 month old Sarah. Mike serves as the Family Ministry Pastor at Hoffmantown Church and as many opportunities to preach camps, revivals, discipleship weekends and conferences all across the country.

Mike’s Website

Sammy Lopez

Sammy Lopez

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Lead Pastor of Mighty Fortress Christian Fellowship in San Antonio.
Sammy Lopez was born the “son of a preacher man,” but vowed never to follow in his father’s footsteps. God had another plan.
Raised among a family of pastors, including his grandfather and two uncles in addition to his father, Sammy often saw the difficult side of ministry. Because his father was a pastor and church planter, his family moved often around the state of Texas and Arizona. By the age of 13, Sammy began to recognize hypocrisy of church members and the brutal way they would often treat his parents. As a result, Sammy developed a bitterness that crept into his heart, and quit following the Lord. It wasn’t until the age of 18 that Sammy gave his life back to Christ and surrendered to ministry.
Today, Sammy is Lead Pastor of Mighty Fortress Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, TX, and one of the most sought-after Hispanic communicators in the nation, speaking to thousands of people of all ages each year. He has been seen on “The 700 Club,” TBN, ManaVision T.V. and Daystar Christian Television.
Sammy has worked with ministries and organizations including Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan’s Purse, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Team First and Goal Inc.
In addition to ministry, Sammy was able to live out his childhood dream in December 2006 when he was invited to try out with the Austin Wranglers in the Arena Football League. Though Pastor Sammy has concluded his free agency in the AFL, he desires to use his experiences as a testimony to proclaim that the Lord grants His children the desires of their hearts. He is married and has one daughter.
Sammy is a relevant, humorous and Biblically challenging communicator. His personal experience allows him to easily relate to individuals who have turned away from the church or are facing difficulties with their faith.

Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia

Jaime is the founder of Unique Student Ministries which draws over 2000 students from all over Texas in the summer for the Unique Student Conference. The only five day student conference in Texas led by volunteers

The ministry offers an affordable student conference, mentorship, discipleship and mission opportunities for inner city students. Jaime has a humble, but ambitious heart for reaching teens and his passion is contagious. Like a magnet it has drawn together a group of loyal and loving leaders in the city who are as passionate as Jaime about the transformation of inner-city teens through the power of Jesus Christ.

Jaime is the Lead  Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church located in the inner-city Houston, Texas.


5:45PM

Unique pre-event activities: Registration, visit exhibits, and prize giveaways

6:45PM

Doors open for Conference

9:00PM

Dismiss

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